Forget about buying a new crystal vase for displaying fall flowers, just go to the pumpkin patch and pick a new vase. Creating a fresh pumpkin planter is easier than carving a jack-o-lantern and nothing says fall better than a ripe pumpkin filled with fall colors and textures from the great outdoors.
Pick a Pumpkin
Go big or go small, the size of pumpkin should be dictated by the space in which the flower arrangement will be displayed. A medium size pumpkin works anywhere, but if you want to a unique fall display for a fireplace mantel, choose several small pumpkins. If you want a floor display or one show-stopping fall floral display, pick the biggest pumpkin you can find to use as a planter. Whatever size you select, pick a pumpkin with a flat bottom fro best results.
Create Pumpkin Planter
Wash the outside of the pumpkin with a mild solution of one part bleach and nine parts water or use a disinfecting wipe that contains chlorine bleach. The bleach kills surface bacteria that would cause the pumpkin to determinate faster if left on the surface.
After cleaning, cut the top fifth off the pumpkin to create an opening and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Prepare it just like you would if you were preparing it to be carved as a jack-o-lantern, sans the eyes, nose and mouth. Wipe down the inside of the cleaned pumpkin with the bleach solution or bleach-wipe to kill internal bacteria.
Line and Fill
Line the inside of the cleaned pumpkin with aluminum foil. Place potting soil inside the pumpkin to within about two inches from the top. Mix in a small amount of slow-release granulated fertilize into the potting soil.
Plant a variety of your favorite flowers inside the newly created pumpkin planter. Dwarf chrysanthemums, pansies, violas, snapdragons, rosemary and thyme are good choices that will thrive inside the pumpkin planter and create a colorful fall floral arrangement. Tuck in a small tree branch or two after the attached leaves have changed color too. Lightly water flowers when top of potting soil is dry to the touch.
Display and Re-Plant
Place pumpkin planter on a trivet or plate to protect furniture when displaying as a table center piece. Display planter where flowers will receive 4-6 hours of sunlight everyday. The more sunlight exposure, the sooner the pumpkin will decompose, but your unique fall planter should last about two weeks.
When the pumpkin planter has served its usefulness, lift the flowers out by grasping the foil edges, then re-plant the flowers in your landscape to enjoy throughout the fall season.